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Pooja Bedi is upset

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Sanjay Gupta's Shootout at Lokhandwala promises realism to the core. Based on a real life shootout that happened in 1991, the film has real life characters of underworld don like Maya Dolas (Vivek Oberoi), Javed Hyderabadi (Arbaaz Khan) and inspector Aftab Ahmed Khan (Sanjay Dutt). There's some more realism added to the film now.

Item girl Rakhi Sawant is the latest addition to the cast. So which real life character is Rakhi Sawant playing in the film? She is playing an actress who was shooting at Lokhandwala on the day the encounter happened. The actress reportedly was a witness of the shootout.

Rakhi affirms, "I got a call from director Apoorva Lakhia when I was shooting for my film Buddha Mar Gaya in Hyderabad. They wanted me to play an actress who happens to be on the site of the shootout and becomes an eyewitness of the incident."

Rakhi came down all the way from Hyderabad to Film City where the set of Lokhandwala has been erected. "I shot for two days and then I went back to Hyderabad. It was great working with Apoorva and it's a pleasure to be a part of a Sanjay Gupta project. Dia Mirza plays the role of a reporter, Mita Matu, who interviews my character of a film actress shooting at Lokhandwala".

So now the big question! Who is the actress who was shooting that day at Lokhandwala? Rakhi Sawant spills the beans, "It was Pooja Bedi". However Rakhi's character in the film is not named as Pooja Bedi. "I play myself in the film", claims Rakhi.

So while the filmmakers are maintaining so much realism in the film, didn't they want Pooja Bedi to actually play her part in the film? When we checked with Pooja Bedi she revealed, "Apoorva did approach me and wanted me to play the part. But it's probably just a 10 second scene that didn't interest me".

Ask Pooja any memories of the actual shootout and she recollects, "I was shooting at Juhu and not Lokhandwala. A reporter called Minty Tejpal (brother of Tarun Tejpal from Tehelka) had come to interview me. When Minty was informed that a shootout was happening at Lokhandwala, he went straight off to the site of the shootout".

So why are the makers showing that Pooja Bedi was shooting at Lokhandwala instead of Juhu? "Perhaps to add more drama or may be to publicize the film, they feel the need to sensationalize and show that Pooja Bedi was also shooting at 'Lokhandwala'. I don't know why has it become a point of great interest", complains Pooja.

Pooja sounds a little upset by the way her name is being used to dramatize the whole incident in the film. "My point is that if they want to be so realistic then why did they replace the real life character of Minty Tejpal with a female journalist played by Diya Mirza in the film. I don't know why a ten second interview is being made the highlight of a three hour film. It is ridiculous! I hope the film has more substance than that ten second interview. I guess they are over-dramatizing the whole incident."

So finally we checked with director Apoorva Lakhia for his side of the story. "Pooja is a very dear friend of mine", says Lakhia. So why not cast her for the role? "Firstly because she was not in the country and secondly we also wanted to bring something new and bubbly feel to the character. Rakhi Sawant is a time bomb. She is damn funny in the film".

Ask him on changing the gender of the journalist and Apoorva defends, "There are a lot of elements that we have fictionalized in the film. The film already has so many male characters. Somewhere or the other we needed to have some females too. Or else who would have watched our film". Apoorva ends it on a funny note!

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